By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

Men leave contentious Carlton property

Marcus Larson/News-Register##
Several sheriff deputies arrived Thursday afternoon to tell men to leave the Hendricks Road property or face arrest. They drove away, and the site was turned over to representatives of the estate.
Marcus Larson/News-Register## Several sheriff deputies arrived Thursday afternoon to tell men to leave the Hendricks Road property or face arrest. They drove away, and the site was turned over to representatives of the estate.
Marcus Larson/News-Register##
The men who were living in RVs have left the Hendricks Road property, but piles of debris, scrap metal and other items remains. Several motor homes were towed away Thursday afternoon.
Marcus Larson/News-Register## The men who were living in RVs have left the Hendricks Road property, but piles of debris, scrap metal and other items remains. Several motor homes were towed away Thursday afternoon.

Yamhill County Sheriff’s deputies ushered five men off the contentious property at 7351 N.E. Hendricks Road, Carlton, about 2:30 p.m. Thursday.

Patrick O’Rourke, Marshall Gross, Wayne Gross, Jack Pettit and Brian Suverly had been evicted by the estate of the late property owner, but refused to leave the site where they had been living in motor homes for months or even years.

After the mid-January eviction deadline passed, the men contested the eviction at a hearing, then a trial. Judge Jennifer Chapman ruled in favor of the estate at the Feb. 22 trial, saying evidence showed the estate owned the site and had the right to evict the men, who claimed the deceased owner had allowed them to live on the land.

The judge gave them four days to leave. When they hadn’t vacated the site by that deadline, the sheriff’s office arrived to enforce the ruling.

“We just tell them the time has come, so move on or be arrested,” Capt. Brandon Bowdle said.

Bowdle said deputies visited the men earlier in the week to explain what would happen. When deputies returned Thursday afternoon, the men drove away toward the east. They were “upset and verbal,” but left on their own, he said.

If any of the men return to the property, they will face criminal trespassing charges, said Steve Cox, attorney for the estate.

With the men gone, the property now is in the hands of the estate. Cox was on the site Thursday supervising as tow trucks arrived to remove several motor homes once occupied by the men.

The estate will store the vehicles until the owners pick them up or they can be disposed of, Cox said.

In addition to the motor homes, the site is littered with personal items, old farm equipment, scrap metal, crunched car bodies, heaters, broken concrete and piles of branches, PVC pipe and other debris. Remnants of a century-old house, which burned down New Year’s Eve, and a large barn, which burned down Christmas Eve, also are visible.

Tammy Runyon, a civil deputy with the sheriff’s office, said the cluttered property and the drawn-out eviction process were extreme. In her 23 years with the YCSO, she said, she’s never seen a case this severe.

The house and land had belonged to Rodger Schneider, who was convicted in October of violating Yamhill County codes restricting solid waste accumulation and the time span for allowing campers.

Schneider died in October and left the property to 11 first cousins, according to testimony in the trial. One of the men who had been living on the site and caring for Schneider claimed that Schneider promised the place to him; others said they had been helping their friend Schneider get the place cleaned up.

Since Schneider died and the estate began the eviction process, sheriff’s deputies have been called to the site numerous times on reports involving fights, weapons, fireworks, a suspected bomb that turned out to be a modified firework, and other problems.

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